College debt at all time high

Report: Class of 2014 average student loan debt of $33,000

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For those of you who graduated from college this past spring, you are part of the graduating class with the most debt ever.

According to a financial report by Edvisors, the class of 2014 graduated with an average student loan debt of $33,000; nearly double what it was 20 years ago.

It's the start of the school year and FSCJ officials are wanting to do whatever they can to help their students get through college, and end up with the smallest amount of debt possible as they enter the real world.

Experts said sometimes a loan is what will work best for a student but reminds there are other options out there.

"I don't think that's a good thing because it's gonna ruin your life later on down the road you will have to pay it back and your credit will go down," said Alyssa Hill.

Hill is a student at FSCJ and said she takes out as few student loans as possible to avoid debt. She was one of many students shocked when they heard the average student loan debt for a 2014 college graduate was $33,000.

Jill Johnson works at FSJC and said the Jacksonville college recommends students figure out the average salary for a job they are interested in after college to help them figure out just how much they can afford to take out. She also said to take out loans wisely.

"Another thing would be to not take out a loan for more than what you really need for tuition, books and fees. The new iphone is launching next month you don't really need to take out an extra whatever amount of money for that," said Johnson.

She also said student loans are not the only option.

"There are scholarships available and a lot here and other universities go unwarranted, so go after free money you may have to work for it you may have to write something or do something but look at all your options before you move forward with student loans," said Johnson.

Aside from scholarships, there's also grants, something Hill said she encourages fellow students to take advantage of.

"You can apply for grants and scholarships, there's plenty of them out there and there's a lot of money being wasted every year because people don't want to write the essay or they're lazy to do it but I would suggest you do it," said Hill.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has been pushing for bills that support college affordability and helping students manage debt. Her proposal to refinance outstanding student-loan debt at less than four-percent interest nearly cleared the Senate in June and will return to the Senate floor for a new vote this month.

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